Portal:Catholicism

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Introduction

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The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within Rome, Italy.

Catholic theology is based on the Nicene Creed. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ, that its bishops are the successors of Christ's apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practises the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition. The Latin Church, the twenty-three Eastern Catholic Churches, and institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the church.

Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. The Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel as well as Catholic social teaching, which emphasises voluntary support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.

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Coat of arms of Bishop Ivan Ljavinec of the Ruthenian Catholic Church, showing a blend of Eastern and Western heraldic styles.

Ecclesiastical heraldry is the tradition of heraldry developed by Christian clergy. Initially used to mark documents, ecclesiastical heraldry evolved as a system for identifying people and dioceses. It is most formalized within the Catholic Church, where most bishops, including the Pope, have a personal coat of arms. Clergy in Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Catholic, and Orthodox churches follow similar customs. Institutions such as schools and dioceses bear arms called impersonal or corporate arms.Ecclesiastical heraldry differs notably from other heraldry in the use of special symbols around the shield to indicate rank in a church or denomination. The most prominent of these symbols is the ecclesiastical hat, commonly the Roman galero or Geneva Bonnet. The color and ornamentation of this hat carry a precise meaning. Cardinals are famous for the "red hat", but other offices are assigned a distinctive hat color. The hat is ornamented with tassels in a quantity commensurate with the office.
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Cr: Raffaello Sanzio

The School of Athens or "Scuola di Atene" in Italian is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

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Clement (died 1258) was a thirteenth century Dominican friar who was the first member of the Dominican Order in Britain and Ireland to become a bishop. In 1233, he was selected to lead the ailing Diocese of Dunblane in Scotland, and faced a struggle to bring the bishopric of Dunblane (or "bishopric of Strathearn") to financial viability. This involved many negotiations with the powerful religious institutions and secular authorities which had acquired control of the revenue that would normally have been the entitlement of Clement's bishopric. The negotiations proved difficult, forcing Clement to visit the papal court in Rome. While not achieving all of his aims, Clement succeeded in saving the bishopric from relocation to Inchaffray Abbey. He also regained enough revenue to begin work on the new Dunblane Cathedral.
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Gerard van Honthorst's Adoration by the Shepards

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Feast Day of October 19

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Saint Jean de Brébeuf (25 March 1593 – 16 March 1649) was a Jesuit missionary, martyred in Canada March 16 1649.

Brébeuf was born on Condé-sur-Vire, Normandy, France, a son of farmers. He was the uncle of the poet Georges de Brébeuf. He studied near home at Caen allowing him to work on the family highway. He became a Jesuit in 1617, joining the Order at Rouen. He almost was pushed from the Society due to his contraction of tuberculosis--an illness which prevented both studying and teaching for the traditional periods.

In 1622 he was ordained. Against the voiced desires of Huguenot Protestants, officials of trading companies, and some Indians, he was granted his wish and in 1625 he sailed to Canada as a missionary, arriving on June 19, and lived with the Huron natives near Lake Huron, learning their customs and language, of which he became an expert (it is said that he wrote the first dictionary of the Huron language). He has been called Canada's "first serious ethnographer."

Although the missionaries were recalled in 1629, Brébeuf returned to Canada in 1633. He was the founder of the Huron mission, a position he relinquished to Father Jérôme Lalemant in 1638.

He unsuccessfully attempted to convert the Neutral nation on Lake Erie in 1640. In 1643 he wrote the Huron Carol, a Christmas carol which is still, in a very modified version, used today. Brebeuf’s charismatic presence in the Huron country helped cause a split between traditionalist Huron and those who wanted to adopt European culture.

Montreal-based ethnohistorian Bruce Trigger argues that this cleavage in Huron society, along with the spread of disease from Europeans, left the Huron vulnerable.

In 1649, the Iroquois attacked the Wendat (Huron) village of St. Louis where Brébeuf was working along with his colleague Gabriel Lalemant, and both men were captured and tortured, mutilated, and burned to death, concluding, some say, with an act of Iroquois cannibalism on March 16, 1649. Brébeuf was fifty-six years old.

Brebeuf’s body was recovered a few days later. His body was boiled in lye to remove the bones, which became church relics. His flesh was buried, along with that of Lalemant's, at the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons (1639-1649).


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Patronage: Canada
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Henry Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster


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Divine Mercy

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